Monday, August 26, 2013
For today's Map on Monday, we have a current screenshot from the tracking page for Scout: The Autonomous Transatlantic Robot Boat.
She was launched successfully from the mouth of the Sakonnet River around midnight on Friday. The blue markers are her GPS waypoints and the line of small blue and orange dots is her actual track. The orange dots indicate the time when she is "drift mode" when her batteries are depleted (which happens at night time or on cloudy days).
Right now she should be headed to that blue marker, waypoint 012, in the bottom right hand corner of the picture.
Obviously she has decided to go somewhere else!
The best guess of the team is that there is a bug in the waypoint handling code which is causing Scout to skip many of the waypoints that she should be navigating to. They think she is now navigating to waypoint 044, which is quite close to the Spanish coast, a few thousand miles away.
In any case she has gone too far for the team to go out and recover her now so they are going to let her go for it and hope she finally makes it to Spain.